Special Report

100 American Towns Founded Before the American Revolution

Source: Andrew Balet / Wikimedia Commons

81. Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
> Founded: 1735
> Population: 4,447

Ste. Genevieve was founded by French-Canadians. It was part of the “Illinois Country” that was in the region of the territory held by the French in North America.

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock

82. Richmond, Virginia
> Founded: 1737
> Population: 216,773

Richmond, named after a suburb of London, was founded in 1737 by Colonel William Byrd II after visiting the site four years earlier.

Source: Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

83. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
> Founded: 1741
> Population: 75,110

A small group of Moravians, a Protestant denomination seeking religious freedom, settled on the banks of the Lehigh River and established a town.

Source: Pi.1415926535 / Wikimedia Commons

84. Coventry, Rhode Island
> Founded: 1741
> Population: 35,014

Colonists led by Samuel Gorton purchased land from the Miantonomi Native Americans and incorporated the land into a township named for Coventry, England.

Source: Jon Platek / Wikimedia Commons

85. Nashua, New Hampshire
> Founded: 1746
> Population: 87,279

The first settlers in Nashua were colonial English land speculators and soldiers. There was much fighting between the colonists and Native Americans in this region.

Source: Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

86. Bennington, Vermont
> Founded: 1749
> Population: 8,945

Bennington was the first Vermont town to receive a town grant when it was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth. Bennington was the first town settled west of the Green Mountains.

Source: Phototreat / iStock

87. Alexandria, Virginia
> Founded: 1749
> Population: 151,473

Scottish and English merchants wanted to improve shipping in the region and they petitioned the Virginia General Assembly to create a town, which became Alexandria.

Source: Putneypics / Wikimedia Commons

88. Westminster, Vermont
> Founded: 1751
> Population: 307

Westminster, founded by English colonists, was part of New York before it became part of Vermont. It is the oldest town in Vermont.

Source: Samturgeon / Wikimedia Commons

89. Grafton, Vermont
> Founded: 1754
> Population: 679

The town was founded in 1754 and was originally called Thomlinson, after English business agent John Thomlinson. It was later changed to Grafton.

Source: ErikaMitchell / iStock

90. Hanover, New Hampshire
> Founded: 1761
> Population: 8,482

Colonists from Connecticut were granted a charter for about seven square miles to create a town that would become the home of Dartmouth College.